The 10 Best Golf Courses in Hawaii – Rated By Real Players

Visiting and playing golf in Hawaii has to be the trip of a lifetime for golfers who not only enjoy different golf courses but take the time to marvel at the views on offer.

The trade winds will always play their part in any round and knock-down shots could be required to keep your scorecard in check.

Selecting the 10 best golf courses in Hawaii is extremely difficult because of the quality and variety of courses on offer.

This task has been eased with a collaboration with TheGrint, our favorite mobile app that helps golfers track their handicap and stats. They have collected golf course reviews from millions of real golf rounds from real golfers.

Ranking in order 1 to 10

  1. Lanai Golf | Manele Course
  2. Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course
  3. Wailea Golf Club | Emerald Course
  4. Mauna Lani Resort Golf Course | South
  5. Mauna Lani Resort Golf Course | North
  6. Hoakalei Country Club
  7. Kapalua Golf | The Plantation Course
  8. Princeville Makai Golf Course | Makai
  9. Wailea Golf Club | Gold Course
  10. Hokuala | Ocean Course

1. Lanai Golf | Manele Course

lanai-golf

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lanai City, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,434 meters off the Tips and 5,345 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 98.5
Fun Rating: 98.8
Shape Rating: 98.2

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 185-meter par 3 12th is the signature hole and is all carry from the tee to the green. The tee sits on a cliff that hangs over the surf, with the ocean the fairway.

If you don’t make the carry, the view will compensate.

Can there be a better par 3 in the world?

This Jack Nicklaus signature course is built on lava outcroppings and set above Hulopoe Bay.

Holes 10 to 13 play along high cliffs and the Pacific Ocean is the water hazard.

Precise tee shots over natural gorges and ravines are required and the vistas are breathtaking.

A stunning must-play course.

2. Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course

poipu-bay-resort-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Koloa, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,361 meters off the Tips and 5,505 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 97.4
Fun Rating: 98.2
Shape Rating: 96.5

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 458-meter par 4 16th is the signature hole and the longest on the course. It plays downhill from an elevated tee to a dogleg left fairway, protected by 2 bunkers and a small lake on the right, and a sheer cliff down the left.

The approach shot to the largest and most contoured green on the layout, requires precision.

The Trade Winds play a significant role in the course and distance control and laying-off shots for the crosswinds will keep your scorecard tidy.

Strategically placed fairway bunkers, doglegs, and elevated grainy-greens will keep all in focus, but not be overwhelming.

Great scenery.

3. Wailea Golf Club | Emerald Course

wailea-golf-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Kihei, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,239 meters off the Tips and 4,815 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 96.4
Fun Rating: 97.2
Shape Rating: 95.6

4 tee options are available.

Signature Hole – The 347-meter par 4 1st is the signature hole and what a scenic hole to start your round. It plays downhill, with jungle on the left and lava rock on the right.

The Pacific Ocean in the background completes the scene and hit the fairway off the tee and make par.

A friendly and fun course to play with concentration levels difficult to maintain because of the spectacular ocean views throughout the layout.

A good mixture of holes that can prove tricky and wayward-shots are penalized.

Accuracy off the tee and a good putting technique for the fast greens will keep your scorecard respectable.

4. Mauna Lani Resort Golf Course | South

mauna-lani-resort-golf-course-south

  • Site Link
  • Location: Kamuela, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,342 meters off the Tips and 4,698 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 96.3
Fun Rating: 96.3
Shape Rating: 96.3

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – One of the most photographed over- the- water holes in the world, the 179-meter par 3 15th, is the signature hole.

The green is protected by lava and ocean in the front and surrounded by bunkers.

The course weaves through the rugged lava rock of the prehistoric Kaniku lava flow.

Spectacular ocean views with fairways lined with natural rough, lava rock, plenty of water and bunkers, greet the golfer on every hole.

Testing, but a pleasure to play layout, if visiting the Big Island.

5. Mauna Lani Resort Golf Course | North

mauna-lani-resort-golf-course-north

  • Site Link
  • Location: Kamuela, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,319 meters off the Tips and 5,561 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.6
Fun Rating: 96
Shape Rating: 95.1

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 128-meter par 3 17th is the signature hole on the North Course, and plays from an elevated tee to a natural amphitheater of lava rock.

A large bunker, with a huge lava rock in the middle, protects the entrance to the green.

A magnificent golf course built on a lava bed has spectacular holes matched by the views.

It is rated as one of the best in Hawaii, and the rolling fairways bordered by Kiawe forests, water hazards plus holes alongside the Pacific Ocean, makes the layout a must-play track.

6. Hoakalei Country Club

hoakalei-country-club

  • Site Link
  • Location: Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,776 meters off the Tips and 4,602 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.6
Fun Rating: 96.3
Shape Rating: 95

5 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The 178-meter par 3 13th is the signature hole and plays to an island green.

Besides the water, the green is framed by 9 bunkers.

Distance control off the tee is key to making par.

This beautifully landscaped Ernie Els signature course, with Hala, Palms, and Kiawe trees lining the fairways, offers a links-like feel.

The native grass rough, lakes, lagoons, and white sand bunkers protect the layout throughout the round.

The track configuration uses the trade winds to increase the challenge and ensure that the course plays differently every day.

7. Kapalua Golf | The Plantation Course

kapalua-golf-the-plantation-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lakaina, Hawaii.
  • Par: 73
  • Length: 6,774 meters off the Tips and 5,984 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.5
Fun Rating: 97.2
Shape Rating: 93.8

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The spectacular finishing 606-meter par 5 18th, is an attacking golfers’ dream. Playing downhill, with the ocean in the background, a good tee-shot will offer the opportunity to hit a 3 metal into the green.

The wide fairways compensate for the strong winds that can blow on the course.

The rugged rolling terrain, jungle, and ocean vistas are a feature of the layout and will be enjoyed by golfers of all skill levels.

Expect a few 3 putts on the large greens.

8. Princeville Makai Golf Course | Makai

princeville-makai-golf-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Princeville, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,602 meters off the Tips and 5,607 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 95.2
Fun Rating: 96.2
Shape Rating: 94.3

3 tee options available.

Signature Hole – The challenging tee shot on the 195-meter par 3 7th hole, over scenic cliffs, will keep the adrenaline flowing.

The well-bunkered green has the mountains and the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop.

A bold upgrade to the bunkers and green complexes has enhanced the playability and challenge of this course.

Majestic lakes, native woodlands, and stunning views of Bali Hai and Hanalei Bay are features of the variety of holes on offer.

From parkland type golf to cliff-top experiences, this track will please most golfers.

9. Wailea Golf Club | Gold Course

wailea-golf-course-gold-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Kihei, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,470 meters off the Tips and 4,974 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 94.3
Fun Rating: 96.5
Shape Rating: 92.1

4 tee options available.

Signature Hole – Starting the round with the signature hole is rather uncommon, but this 386-meter par 4 1st hole, playing from an elevated tee, is spectacular.

The ocean forms the backdrop and lava rock on the right turns the hole left, into a well-bunkered green below.

An immense challenge throughout the course, which is noted for the heavy bunkering around the greens, and fairway bunkers in the driving zone.

Garden like settings are complemented by lava rock outcrops, and playing from the tee that fits your skill level, will take away some of the intimidation.

10. Hokuala | Ocean Course

hokuala-ocean-course

  • Site Link
  • Location: Lihue, Hawaii.
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6,508 meters off the Tips and 4,915 meters off the Front.

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 93.4
Fun Rating: 94.1
Shape Rating: 92.8

3 tee options are available.

Signature Hole – The 192-meter par 3 14th is the signature hole that plays downhill to a turquoise ocean- protected left side and a cliff face on the right.

The bailout area is to the right for those who don’t want to attack the green off the tee.

A magnificent scenic feature.

The course plays along the seaside cliffs and meanders through guava and mango groves.

It features the largest stretch of ocean-side golf in Hawaii.

Forced carries and tough par 3s on this Jack Nicklaus designed layout are compensated by the spectacular sea views.

Enjoyable and a great test, but select the tee that suits your game.

Other Courses Outside The Top 10

1. Mauna Kea Resort | Mauna Kea

mauna-kea-resort

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 93.4
Fun Rating: 94.1
Shape Rating: 92.8

Dramatic elevation changes require some skill on the uphill aerial route to the greens.

The lava rock and the ocean vistas are stunning.

2. Kapalua Resort | The Bay Course

kapalua-resort-the-bay-course

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 93
Fun Rating: 94.9
Shape Rating: 91.1

This golf course is set on the ocean and features some exceptional holes that are world-class.

The views will keep players spell-bound even if the standard of play disappoints.

3. The Turtle Bay Resort and Golf Club | Palmer Course

the-turtle-bay-resort-and-golf-club-palmer-course

PLAYER RATING

Overall Rating: 92.8
Fun Rating: 92.4
Shape Rating: 93.2

Arnold Palmer used the land to perfection in his design of this layout.

The golfer gets to play a Scottish-style links front 9 and tropical back 9 the wonders through an ironwood forest and jungle.

Final Thoughts

Playing golf anywhere in Hawaii should be on the “bucket list” of any avid golfer.

If your golf is not up to standard on the day, the stunning scenic views are captivating and will ease the frustration.

The problem will be how to fit so many great courses into your length of stay.

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